Composer and Flamenco guitarist Daniel Martinez returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with his unique musical production Art of Believing. The show hosts Flamenco singers, guitarists, percussionists, a dancer and a violinist, joining Daniel in this must-see powerful Flamenco performance bursting with passion and authenticity. Daniel told The Fountain all about it, as well as how the Daniel Martinez Flamenco Company came about.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
Yes very much so! We had an overwhelming response to our Fringe debut last year so I am really excited to be back with my group of musicians, this time in one of the most iconic Fringe venues in Edinburgh, theSpaceUK (Venue 38 Triplex Big). The show has a rich variety of Flamenco styles which will be enjoyed by people new to Flamenco and aficionados alike. Joining me on stage are flamenco singers and percussionists, accompanying Flamenco guitarists, a base player, a violinist and a dancer, coming together to create a show bursting with beautiful Flamenco music and dance.
TF: Art of Believing certainly sounds interesting, what is the premise?
The idea and concept of this show came when I decided to create a theatre production which would tell the story of my life so far as a Flamenco guitarist. I was born in Cordoba and at the age of seven I began studying in the Royal Conservatoire of Music. From there, I dedicated the following fourteen years to learning and practicing during tireless hours. I began performing in Tablaos as well as teaching, all the while starting to compose my own music. Art of Believing is a musical representation of my life as an artist so far and how believing in myself has been the most important drive for me and my career.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
On graduating as a fully licensed musician in 2015, I came to Edinburgh to work in, believe it or not, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015! It was whilst working for another company that I met some incredible Flamenco musicians who are actually a part of my company today – my flamenco family. I decided to stop working for this company as I felt my principles where being compromised; last year I was contracted to play 57 shows in 24 days and in exchange I was able to hire their venue to perform my one hour show for 24 nights. With hind sight I came to realise that exploitation of artists is unfortunately all too common in this industry and that I, as well as many other musicians out there, haven’t worked so hard for the majority of their lives to be taken advantage of. So I decided I no longer wanted to work for or under anyone that thinks that artists and performers are merely numbers. I created the Daniel Martinez Flamenco Company and take huge pride in that if I win and I am successful, everybody in my company wins and is successful with me as well as highly valued as an individual. I am tremendously lucky to have been joined by a group of true professionals – they are my influence.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
The plan is to continue as always working hard to deliver the best Flamenco we can to the magnificent Edinburgh Fringe audience, last year’s audience where absolutely fantastic so we cannot wait to meet new people and hopefully see some familiar faces return to see us! My advice to first-time performers is to surround yourself with people you can trust and to listen to your instincts. Believe in yourself and in your work. Have fun and enjoy every moment up on that stage and lastly….eat well and try and get some sleep!
TF: Is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh? Based in Edinburgh I always try and catch a couple of shows, it can be difficult though when you are doing the full run. I am really keen to catch other music shows, especially to show my support to other musicians as I know how challenging this industry can be! So I will be sure to go grab a few late night music shows and let my hair down!
TF: And what are your future plans beyond Art of Believing?
We have been on tour performing in guitar festivals, theatres and arts festivals across the UK. We have visited some really amazing places such as Brighton, Liverpool, Birmingham, Surrey, Ludlow, Cardiff amongst others and we plan on continuing to tour in to 2020, both in the UK and Europe. I am also currently composing and planning my next project, which is going to be something really big…fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine…and as always Flamenco will be right at the heart of it…watch this space!
You can see Art of Believing at theSpace, Triplex Big from 2nd – 24th August at 21:15. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com